Did you hear what Dottie did?

That, my friends, is the start of a great story simply because when one of my sisters or my father refers to Mom as “Dottie,” something hilarious has happened. My mom has two personalities. Donna, the classy, generous, hospitable, friendly, selfless mother and wife who comports herself with great dignity and pride. And she has “Dottie” the awkward, clumsy, slightly clueless dork who can’t eat corn on the cob without getting kernels stuck in her eyelashes and who to this day cannot get to my blog without going to Google and typing in “That’s Church.”

You think I’m joking, but I’m not.

So when I sat down on the couch at my parents’ house on Easter to await dinner, and my sister Princess Aurora plopped down next to me and asked with a gleam of amusement in her eyes, “Did you hear what Dottie did?” I bopped up in down excitedly and clapped my hands like a kid about to open a new toy. Tell me tell me tell me! What did Dottie do?!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mother who was seated on the other side of the room, slowly shake her head and then bend it down to rest it in her hands. Clearly this was a doozy. A Dottie doozy. A delightful Dottie doozy!

“You know how mom bought that iPod Touch a few days ago?”

How could I forget? Since she had purchased it, I had been bombarded with questions like, “How do I put music on this? Can I play that music while I’m in Texas if I put it on the thing while I’m in Pittsburgh? Where can I buy a cover for this? It’s running out of power but how can I charge it up if all that came with it is this wire for the computer? What do you mean by [fingerquotes] U-S-B?”

So I said to Princess, “Yes. I’m aware.”

“Well, she called Pens Fan this morning freaking out and said, ‘My iTouch had some fingerprints on it, so I got a wet wipe and wiped it down and NOW IT HAS WATER BEHIND THE SCREEN AND I CAN’T GET IT OUT AND YOUR FATHER IS GOING TO KILL ME.'”

At this point I should tell you that spending money is not only my mother’s job, it is her other religion. She’s THAT good at it. So I don’t know why she would be worried if she broke her iPod. She’d just go buy another one and Dad would just roll his eyes and take her to Aruba.

“Go on,” I said to Princess.

“Then when I got here this afternoon, she immediately corners me and she says very very seriously and direly, ‘Princess, your dad is going to kill me. I bought an iTouch and I used a baby wipe to wipe the fingerprints off of the screen and now there is water behind the screen and it won’t come out! I even put it in a bowl of rice for HOURS and it did nothing! But Molly [my niece] said she once dropped hers in a bowl of soup and it was fine after it sat in rice, and all I did was wipe mine down and the water won’t come out and it’s been in rice for hours and your father is going to KILL ME,’ and she was just freaking out.”

“So what did you do?” I asked Princess.

“I told her to get me the iPod so that I could see what was going on with it.”


Princess Aurora then reached over to the coffee table and picked up my mother’s iPod Touch to show me the “damage” that had freaked my mother out to the point of burying the thing in a bowl of rice for hours.

Yes, that is a standard iPod Touch wallpaper and my mother apparently never noticed it until she thought a baby wipe somehow got that much moisture lodged behind the screen.

The saddest part of this story is that we never thought to play a trick on her and send her to the Apple Store to see if they could “fix it” for her. We would have followed her with a camera, put that shit on YouTube and it would have been the viral-esty things since Rebecca Black.

We’ll get her next time, probably when she asks us why her iTouch isn’t receiving any phone calls.


  1. Marcy
    April 12, 2012 11:15 am

    I am dying over this – and can I share that when we got our first cat my mother took it to the vet because she thought it had asthma because it sometimes made a rattling sound when it was breathing? Yep, it was purring.

  2. Noelle
    April 12, 2012 11:22 am

    My CMU colleague (with a PhD in computer science from 1976) while helping another parent in his son’s high school class make her Kindle Fire “work”, got this question, “are you just getting into technology too?”

  3. Sheila
    April 12, 2012 11:23 am


  4. bucdaddy
    April 12, 2012 11:25 am

    Wrong. The sad part is, I would have thought the same thing.

    Well, sad for ME, and who else matters?

    • Butcher's Dog
      April 12, 2012 11:38 am

      No one else matters except you, bucdaddy. And maybe me occasionally. The rest are just breathing the air we don’t need at any given moment.

      • Noelle
        April 12, 2012 11:40 am

        I imagine the two of you holding hands while skipping through Kennywood. ;)

        • Noelle
          April 12, 2012 11:42 am

          BucBucher are BFFs. Like Branglina.

        • bucdaddy
          April 12, 2012 12:00 pm

          Hey, Doggie, I get the Senior Discount starting May 23 (HAH! to the rest of you.). You up for a dozen rides each on the Bolt, Racer, Jackrabbit and Phantom? Like I once told a friend of bucdaughter’s who came to the park with us: We ride coasters. It’s what we do. We ride all day. We don’t stop to eat. We don’t stop to drink. We don’t stop to pee. You’ve been warned.

          • Butcher's Dog
            April 12, 2012 5:10 pm

            Well, I’ve been eligible for Senior Discount for some time now (currently 64 +). And I ride coasters, although anyone near our age group who doesn’t stop to pee is just asking for it. And all you haters…deal with it.

            • bucdaddy
              April 13, 2012 10:39 am

              Oooo! Ooooo! Bucdaughter just informed me that Kennywood will have a beer garden this summer!

              Of course, it waits to be seen whether what they sell is actually “beer.” You know, a beverage with flavor.

              Anyway, the puke from the spinny rides will be glorious. I wouldn’t stand under the Aero360 anymore.

          • Sam's Dog
            April 13, 2012 6:31 pm

            “Buc and Butcher, sittin’ in a tree…….”

  5. PA Girl in VA
    April 12, 2012 11:35 am

    As soon as I read about her thinking she had water behind the screen, I saw what was coming. That is hilarious!

  6. Holly
    April 12, 2012 11:58 am

    OMG! I have tears in my eyes!

  7. mamabear
    April 12, 2012 12:03 pm

    Oh that is classic. Made my day.

  8. red pen mama
    April 12, 2012 12:13 pm

    Oh. dear.

    Poor Dottie.

  9. Annie
    April 12, 2012 12:37 pm

    This is hysterical. My grandmother, easily the most fastidious person I’d ever met, once dropped her cell phone in the toilet. She then removed it, *washed it off* and took it out to the back porch, where she set in on a table in the sun to dry out. She saturated it and then baked it. After explaining to her that cell phones cannot be cleaned like beach towels, I went to the AT&T store and got her a new phone.

  10. Kristen
    April 12, 2012 1:02 pm

    Kind of reminds me of the birthday card I got my mom last year. It said something about how I could change the ringtone on her phone to play happy birthday and there would be nothing she could do about it.

    Makes me laugh, until I remember that one day I’ll be the one who can’t figure out that dangnabbit new technology. Karma will boomerang my ass for sure.

    • SteelCityMagnolia
      April 12, 2012 2:24 pm

      One of my favorite things to do is change the ringtone on my dad’s phone and listen to the incredible variety of 4-letter words (and their variations). At least once a week he hands me his phone and tells me it’s broken because it won’t ring. It isn’t broken. He’s somehow managed to put the thing on “silent”.

      I think I’ll be right in line behind you when Karma comes boomeranging back our direction!!!

  11. Woy
    April 12, 2012 1:05 pm

    The Google thing is completely true. She’s helped us identify search engine problems!

    • Z
      April 12, 2012 2:40 pm

      That’s my hidden talent and my boss just loves it. Dottie should receive a pat on the back for helping.

  12. Katie
    April 12, 2012 1:44 pm

    Fantastic! My mother is afraid of all things tech.. I got her a small mp3 with just a tiny readout screen. It’s still in the package…she’s never opened there it to her 14 year old computer with dialup, her flip open, non texting cell phone and her home phone with cord. No.. I’m not

  13. Robin
    April 12, 2012 1:50 pm

    My mom “Help, I don’t know what’s wrong with the computer!”
    Me “What’s on the desktop?”
    Mom “A stapler, a coffee cup….”

  14. bluzdude
    April 12, 2012 2:13 pm

    I was way off. I thought you were going to find it in a bowl of cooked rice. This way was funnier though. I almost spit-taked my monitor.

  15. Z
    April 12, 2012 2:42 pm

    Loved this and I’m glad you guys didn’t prank her futher at the AT&T store.

  16. Kevin
    April 12, 2012 3:54 pm

    My mom came to my house to “check on things” while I was away for two weeks. I’m a single guy, not much on planting around the house. When I returned I found a water can on my back deck which wasn’t mine. So, I called my mom to ask if it was hers and why it was there. She had watered my plants twice a day for the two weeks I was gone. Only problem, the flowers in my flower box on my deck are plastic.

  17. Mandra
    April 12, 2012 10:28 pm

    I’m sitting here, tears in my eyes, laughing out loud because this is so something that my mother would do!

  18. Suzie-Q
    April 13, 2012 12:55 am

    Ohhhhhh this is a classic….LOVE IT!!!! Go Dottie!!!!

  19. Emilie
    April 13, 2012 9:16 am

    OMG this is HYSTERICAL!!!! Love it!

  20. Cole
    April 13, 2012 10:48 am

    ” Can I play that music while I’m in Texas if I put it on the thing while I’m in Pittsburgh? ”

    This line caused me to choke on my coffee this morning.


  21. Janelle
    April 15, 2012 10:50 am

    Sounds like my dad. There’s my mom, who is glued to her iPad and harasses my brother and I to play games with her, and my dad, who got a Kindle last night and could barely get it registered.